European markets started strongly, but their rally is stalling. Wall Street is expected to rise when trading begins.
Markets across Asia and Europe were mostly higher on Wednesday as investors cheered a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package to shore up the American economy.
The positive mood looked likely to carry over onto Wall Street as trading in futures indicated a strong opening for stocks there as well. On Tuesday, traders in New York had their best day since 2008 on expectations of the stimulus deal.
Major exchanges in Europe opened strongly on Wednesday, but their gains had frittered away by late morning.
In the Asia-Pacific region, markets finished the day on fresh weekly highs. Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped more than 8 percent, even as the organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games said they would postpone the event by a year. Chinese stocks rallied, with Shanghai’s SE Composite finishing the day 2.1 percent higher and Shenzhen stocks rising more than 3 percent.
Markets have been volatile in recent weeks, seesawing on sentiment that has veered between hope that governments around the world will take strong measures to stem economic losses from the spread of the coronavirus, and fear that policymakers are not making bold enough decisions.
Senators and the Trump administration reached a deal early Wednesday on a huge stimulus bill that would help to provide a ballast for companies and industries hardest hit by the outbreak. It would also give money to Americans, many of whom have lost their jobs in recent days and weeks.
Elsewhere, governments have taken more concrete measures. On Monday, Germany prepared an emergency budget and rescue fund for companies and state-supported loans. European Union leaders are working on additional measures to help loosen up money for some countries to help soften the economic blow of the virus.
On Monday, the S&P 500 on Wall Street gained more than 9 percent as investors expected Congress to pass the big stimulus.
“Today’s sharp equity rally shows that the combination of central banks’ entire Global Financial Crisis playbook and substantial, direct fiscal support can be well-received by markets,” Paul Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a note to investors about Tuesday’s performance on Wall Street.
“Encouragingly, recent new lows in stocks have been accompanied by either sideways or even lower volatility, indicating markets are starting to become more comfortable with the potential range of outcomes we face,” Mr. Haefele added.
The price of oil initially rose more than 3 percent on Wednesday, but then fell into negative territory.
Senators and Trump administration officials reached an agreement early Wednesday on a roughly $2 trillion stimulus measure that would send direct payments and jobless benefits to individuals, as well as money to states and businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
The legislation, which is expected to be enacted within days, aims to deliver critical financial support to businesses forced to shut their doors and relief to American families and hospitals.
The deal, struck shortly before 1 a.m., was the product of a marathon set of negotiations among Senate Republicans, Democrats and President Trump’s team that nearly fell apart as Democrats insisted on stronger worker protections and oversight over a new $500 billion fund to bail out distressed businesses.
“We have a deal,” Eric Ueland, the White House legislative affairs director, told reporters just before 1 a.m., adding that the text of the bill still needed to be completed. “We have either clear, explicit legislative text reflecting all parties or we know exactly where we’re going to land on legislative text as we continue to finish.”
On Monday morning, American Airlines Flight 1 departed John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, bound for Los Angeles. It had six passengers.
The flight is normally one of the airline’s busiest and most profitable. Now it is a money pit, a cross-country symbol of how thoroughly the coronavirus pandemic has decimated commercial air travel in a matter of weeks.
“This is scary,” said José Freig, American’s head of Latin America operations, who is managing the company’s coronavirus response team. “It’s difficult to find a bottom on this one.”
In recent weeks, nearly every part of the airline, the largest in the United States, has been transformed by efforts to slow the spread of the virus>chaosafrica